The Bill & Melinda Gates foundation’s Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) program works to expand coverage of high-impact interventions to ensure that women and newborns survive and stay healthy during childbirth and beyond. We invest in efforts to adapt and develop innovative tools, technologies, and treatments; improve the quality of healthcare services and practices and the interactions between health workers and families; and advocate for national and global policies that benefit maternal, newborn, and child survival and health.
We work closely with governments, United Nations and bilateral agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector, and we collaborate with other programs at the foundation in areas such as discovery, integrated delivery, nutrition, family planning, childhood infectious diseases, policy and advocacy, and communications.
We support research across discovery, development, and implementation sciences in many parts of the world that can lead to better ways to save the lives of women and newborns and improve their health.
Our efforts to achieve impact on a broad scale are currently focused in Ethiopia, northern Nigeria, and the Indian states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. These areas account for a significant portion of the world’s maternal and newborn deaths.
The Director leads the team’s overall strategy and coordinates with broader global health efforts within the foundation to achieve greater impact.
Reports to Chris Elias, President of the Global Development Program
Integrated Delivery Team
Enteric and Diarrheal Disease Teams
Africa and India country teams
Global Policy, Advocacy and Communications Team
Discovery and Translational Sciences Team
Integrated Development Team
Global multilaterals (e.g. WHO, UNICEF)
US and other governments
Other key partners (e.g., London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Save the Children Federation, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Every Woman Every Child, Every Newborn Action Plan, Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health)
- Leading the MNCH program, including strategy development, execution, staffing, managing and guiding the team, synthesis and sharing of learning, and assessment of impact;
- Building and nurturing critical relationships with peers and internal stakeholders;
- Conceptualizing and articulating strategies contributing to the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality and morbidity, with a particular focus on maternal and newborn. Areas of focus include: 1) Research and development of new behavioral interventions, 2) Test effectiveness of critical interventions / operational research, 3) Quality improvement focused on service delivery across the antenatal, intrapartum and post partum periods, 4) Promote technical policy and harmonized indicators to accelerate adoption of interventions and influence the community.
- Actively pursuing synergies across foundation program, function, and country teams, and federating efforts that contribute to MNCH goals;
- Overseeing the MNCH grant portfolio and creating robust systems that ensure quality grantee interactions, balance in the portfolio and effective annual planning;
- Providing rigorous reviews of our work that incorporate internal and external stakeholders and anticipate mid-course corrections, project impact and propose appropriate changes;
- Publicly representing the foundation with stakeholders including both public and private entities, grantee organizations, other funders, universities, think tanks and other valued partners on the international stage.
- Demonstrated effectiveness of efficacious interventions in low-income settings.
- Research on and development of behavioral interventions that address the primary risk factors for maternal and newborn deaths.
- Advanced knowledge and skills of frontline healthcare providers and expanding their use of innovative tools by identifying and reducing barriers to the adoption of effective interventions.
- Broad adoption of policies and strategies that enable countries to increase the use of life-saving health interventions, raise awareness of overlooked factors for newborn and maternal mortality, and expand the use of essential medicines.
The ideal candidate will be a thought leader on maternal, newborn and child health issues and their impact on disadvantaged communities in the developing world. With proven scientific, strategic planning and managerial skills, s/he will have a strong analytical, evidence-based approach to MNCH and be credible across the nexus of research, policy, advocacy, programmatic delivery, and the monitoring and evaluation of results.
A track record of leading teams of high-performing professionals with deep technical backgrounds; experience creating and leading innovative programs and initiatives
Deep technical knowledge of interventions and delivery approaches in MNCH in developing country settings
Familiarity with the design and implementation of field/research projects, including the conception, design, and development of field-oriented programs/interventions aimed at reducing the morbidity and mortality of neonates, infants, and children
Global networks and stature
An opinion leader in the global arena who can connect with the private sector, governments, multilaterals, and NGOs, with an understanding of country health systems and the global architecture of organizations working in women’s and children’s health
Time spent living and working in the developing world; comfort operating in an international environment
CRITICAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITIES
- Defines the evolving future of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH) strategy within the foundation with a systems thinking approach and an intellectual agility that incorporates others’ views and new information.
- Contributes to an MNCH strategy and vision that: 1) Moves between the conceptual and the applied, integrating and constructively challenging current issues and initiatives, core values, and future needs in a clear and coherent way. 2) Provides a clear strategic direction for the MNCH team – and the foundation – that is based on analytical rigor in goal-setting, large scale project management, and impact measurement.
- Thinks over five years ahead to influence systemic behavior change and impact.
Collaborating and Influencing
- Systematically builds support at multiple levels and across groups using complex, coordinated influence management skills that are adapted to people, organizations and networks.
- Engages global leaders from the private and public sectors, building support at the highest levels for this work.
- Builds partnerships based on a common agreement that acknowledges individual differences but creates a new commonality beyond root beliefs or culture.
- Inspires key stakeholders to create opportunities and participate in driving meaningful change using well-honed verbal and written communication and presentation skills.
- Brings together team members with diverse backgrounds, approaches, and beliefs to pursue a coherent long-term direction, and collaborates with the team on how to achieve it.
- Actively contributes, and leads by example, to our ‘Culture for Impact’.
- Delegates objectives with clear and explicit intent to a team with high technical acumen, allowing the freedom to be creative in devising strategies.
- Sets up practices to reinforce independent and open communication among team members and other groups within the foundation that contribute to the work of MNCH.
- Holds people accountable for their commitments, providing clarity and assisting when barriers arise; maintains the team’s focus on results, integrity, and impact.
OTHER PERSONAL CHARACTERISTICS
- A healthy balance of self-confidence and humility, along with a keen desire to learn
- Intellectual curiosity and honesty; attentive, empathetic and responsive listener
- Resilience in the face of difficulties; handles setbacks without losing confidence or drive
- Genuine passion and commitment to the foundation’s core values and mission
- Integrity and ethical rigor
- Ability to see the humor in difficult situations and to not take him/herself too seriously
As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.